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Saxophones I'd like a baritone but need some help please

Jonners

Member
Messages
140
I previously spent ages carefully crafting this post and then the laptop made a little dinging sound and more or less said - 'no you don't really want any more saxes...' and lost the lot.
So once again, with apologies if the original post turns up in another thread...here's a brief paraphrase...

Having spent years not playing the sax, I am now a very late but extremely keen late learner. I have experienced the frustrations of trying to play a cheap instrument which really was suitable only for an expert and have known the absolute joy of blowing a good horn with easy low notes, great tone etc.

So I'm looking to complete the stable and get a baritone. I need all the help I can get so would like to get a modern rather than vintage classic. ie something that is easy to get along with and not too idiosyncratic. I love the ergonomics of the Yani tenor - in particular the palm stack and low pinkie keys - just so easy to get to. Is the baritone equally friendly?

I can afford to buy a decent horn and would rather do that than anything else with the bit of spare cash I have. I reckon that the lifetime enjoyment that you get from a good instrument is pretty good value for money and would appreciate your thoughts about this. Having lost 4 friends in the past month I now - well - carpe diem and all that.

Any constructive suggestions or philosophical musings - any instruments for sale etc?

I do feel a bit guilty when I know there are so many struggling musicians out there with a million times more ability that me but no cash for a decent instrument. If I can find something from this site then I'll give a good wadge to Pete's charity.

Thanks
Ian
 

Sunray

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,708
Hey Hey Ian ...

Well mate ...

I bought myself a lovely Yanagisawa Alto [a 992] in June 2010
and followed that with a beautiful Yanagisawa [T9932J] Tenor in July ...

View attachment 659 ... View attachment 658

So if I was to buy a Bari ...

I reckon This Link would prolly get me thinking somewhat ... :w00t:

Mmmmmmmmmmm .... Luv is bliss ... ;}
 
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kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
In another thread, Ladyraygun needed to upgrade her old Conn. She ended up going to a big sax dealer and trying the horns out. I think it'd be a good move for you. Lots of good horns around, but one which works for one person may not work for you.

And before you buy, do you want a low A bari? May not make a difference now, but it could be important in future.
 

singlereed

Member
Messages
124
I have been playing a Yanagisawa B901 for the last 10 years or so. It's been totally reliable, never needed any service and just keeps delivering the goods. Although heavy, it is a bit lighter than some other pro baritones. It sounds great in classical, jazz, funk or whatever. Even the supplied mouthpiece is quite good. I have tried more expensive horns such as the Selmer Serie II, Mark VI, B991, Yamaha YBS62 and they all have their attractions but it's marginal and I'd somehow feel like I was cheating on the faithful Yani! Only downside - the Yani case is bulky and is falling apart and it wouldn't protect the neck receiver area very well if you dropped it.
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,664
I recently bought myself a Mauriat 302g. It's absolutely gorgeous! having said that, I've got no experience of any other baris. I love the tone and feel of mine. Every thing seems to fall to place. I swap from tenor to alto to bari with comparative ease and the ergonomics of all my horns seem fairly similar although I play an Earlham alto, and Amati tenor and now the Mauriat bari.
Good luck with your search and as Kev said, if you can get to a large store and try a few, that'll help you no end.
Don't forget to keep us posted though.
 

Pyrografix

Senile Member
Messages
1,026
I recently acquired a John Packer 044 bari from their ex-demo range. Yes, its cheap and cheerful, but it plays beautifully and would honk happily alongside the best of them! This is the only bari I've ever played (we don't have the same sax outlets up here as you're blessed with down south, to try-before-buying), but I was surprised how easy it was to adjust from Yamaha tenor to this instrument. It doesn't necessarily have to cost you a fortune to get a half-decent bari.
Let us know how you get on.
Cheers,
Amanda
 

MMM

Senior Member
Messages
927
If money is no object, I would seriously consider the Yani, they seem to be the standard in low A bari saxes + you can always upgrade the neck.

Have a read at Stephen Howards review of a Chinese horn Vs the Yani, it makes for interesting reading. That is also why I started this post "if money is no object".
If you're looking for something of which you'll enjoy not only its sound and response but also it's construction and slickness of keywork, then the Yani will most certainly satisfy. If you're looking for something that you will only play every now and then, not to be gigged often then consider a Far East alternative and splash the remaining cash on a good mouthpiece+case.

I didn't want to spend a fortune on a bari, so I ended up getting a fixer upper Conn 12M from the US, does the job but sometimes I really wish I could justify £2.5K on a Yani!

Not sure this helped, but it's my opinion.
Cheers, Manlio
 

Jonners

Member
Messages
140
Thanks for the helpful replies all - I was a bit diffident about making the post in the first place - how self indulgent to buy so many saxes!! However - looking at your signatures I can see that I'm not alone!

As mentioned, I have seen a lot of people shuffle off this mortal coil at much younger age than myself and I no longer worry about justifying expenditure so am happy to spend a few quid. However Amanda - I have heard others speak very favourably of the JPs so I'll look at that option.

To be quite frank, and this may sound pathetic (it is pathetic)- but I'm a bit embarassed to test play a load of expensive horns in public - the old 'all the gear and no idea' syndrome. I bought the 992 tenor without testing it and can only say that it is absolutely fantastic to my ears at least- an absolute joy to play and own. I also love the P Mauriat but the Yani fits my arthritic fingers just that bit more easily. However - I think I'm going to have to get over this and take a trip to Sax.co (all previous dealings with them have been very positive) and try out a few.

Thanks again
Ian
 
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Jonners

Member
Messages
140
Hi Singlereed - I read on Stephen Howards site that quite a number of Yani's are damaged at the neck because of the design of the case.
 

Jonners

Member
Messages
140
Hi Manlio - thanks for the thoughts and the reference - the Chinese horns seem really good and exceptional value for money. I like the idea of a vintage Conn or something but like I said - I really need all the help I can get and I figure that a new sax would probably be more playable without too much fancy adaptation to the embouchure or fingering. Also because of where I live I'd like something that doesn't need too much repair and maintenance. The 901 is looking like a hot contender - anyone got one for sale?
 

jonf

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,680
Hi Jonners

I also bought a T992, purely as an indulgance, although in my case over three visits I tried pretty much all the top line saxes in sax.co.uk. I've had it for three years now and haven't regretted the expense for a single minute. For me, it was just better than competitors from Yamaha, Mauriat, Keilwerth, Selmer, Trevor James. If you've got the dosh, I don't think you'll regret spending some on a Yani baritone. There may be others which offer very good value, but it's hard to beat Yani for quality.

I wouldn't worry about sounding self indulgent either. I currently have 11 saxes, ranging from cheapo Chinese, through quality Chinese, vintage stuff and a couple of Yanagisawas. I'm pretty sure that some other people on this forum have even more (Rhys?) and if you're lucky enough to have a few quid you could spend it on a lot worse things than musical instruments.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Jonners, there are a couple of guys on the forum who sell saxes. Birdman and Jules. Try asking them what they think about people coming in... I think you'll find they're more than happy to help someone like you make the best choice. And a lot of places have practice rooms, where you can make a lot of noise in private...
 

Taz

Busking Oracle
Messages
3,664
Jonners, I just noticed that you mentioned arthritis in one or your posts, does this just affect your fingers or are other joints affected as well? This is something you may have to take into consideration.
 

Larn

Member
Messages
67
Hi Jonners If you do have arthritis you may be better going for a modern Bari, I haven't played many newer horns so don't know how easy the action is but on my 50's Buescher the left hand table is heavy to operate and hard work on the pinky finger.

Mark.
 

Chris J

Member
Messages
214
Jonners

I would certainly recommend you trying a few. There is no rsuh to buy, and ergonomics may be important to you.

But - if you want to try my "spare", it is only a short walk away from the ferry in Southampton.

It is old though - pre 1937, nickel plated, Couesnon Monopole (so pro standard in its day), to Bb. It was set up by Stephen Howard a couple of years ago and has played well since. I will be selling for £700.

Chris
 

Jonners

Member
Messages
140
Jonners

But - if you want to try my "spare", it is only a short walk away from the ferry in Southampton.

It is old though - pre 1937, nickel plated, Couesnon Monopole (so pro standard in its day), to Bb.
Thanks Chris- nice offer which I will be glad to take up when I'm back in Blighty (early March). Is this the bari that was pictured on SOTW last year? If so it looks very nice. Perhaps you could pm some details
Cheers
Ian
 
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